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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Numbers

Over the centuries, stone masons have been known to chisel their unique, distinguishing mark into a stone, leaving their signature for future generations. Moving forward in time to the past century, concrete has become a prolific construction material.

Here in Toronto, I have discovered that sidewalk installers have been keen to embed their “signatures” in freshly laid concrete. Here are a few examples of modern day concrete markers, indicating the dates when the concrete was installed. These are my submissions in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Numbers for this week.

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For the budding urban archeologist, these sidewalk markers can be used to determine the dates of previous infrastructure upgrades, and identify the businesses that were active in their trade at that time. Anyone interested in doing some sidewalk rubbings?

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1969
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1996
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2001
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2002
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2012
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Wheels

I selected a couple of images of old wheels to post in response to Cee’s weekly Black and White Photo Challenge for this week. These wheels belong to old carts that were the primary means of transporting commodities in their day. Presently, they are on display for public viewing at museums or antique shops, as a reminder of the past.

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The Cumnock Star wagon was built in the 1870’s and operated on a round trip route between Cumnock and Molong, in central New South Wales, Australia. This wagon was drawn by a team of 9 clydesdales, carrying wheat in one direction, and beer, spirits and supplies in the opposite direction. The Aussies have always needed to be well supplied!

The old cart and wheelbarrows are on display at the Weald and Downland Living Museum, located in southern England, and the subject of one of my previous blog posts.

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The Cumnock Star
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cart and wheelbarrow wheels
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Typical

On two occasions over the past decade, I have visited the Louvre Museum in Paris. On both of my visits, I viewed The Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. This is my first example of the use of this week’s theme word – I am certain that an infrequent visitor to the Louvre, like me, will “typically” view this iconic painting during a tour of the museum.

I took a photograph during each visit, and both images display a “typical” crowd of viewers crowded around the painting. Cameras and mobiles ready to shoot.

Perhaps “atypically,” there is one person in each image who is pointing a camera or phone in the opposite direction. The 2016 version is likely for a selfie, but not the earlier version.

These images have been posted in response to Paula’s Lost in Translation challenge for this week – Typical.

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Mona Lisa, October 2010
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Mona Lisa, April 2016
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Traces of the Past

This is my second contribution to the Lost in Translation blog Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s topic is “Traces of the Past Y2-06,” which instantly reminded me of images I have taken of ancient standing stone monuments in my travels in the UK. I enjoy visiting sites like these because they stimulate your imagination, and make you wonder how these structures were used when they were first built.

The portal into the past is probably the most recognizable image, as Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination, located in Wiltshire in southern England. It is a neolithic standing stone circle that is several 1000’s of years old.

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portal into the past

Lanyon Quoit is much lesser known. Located in Cornwall, south-west England, this stone structure was once part of a dolmen, or ancient tomb. The stones that remain are a reconstruction of the original tomb, with many missing parts.

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Lanyon Quoit
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Windows

This is my first time entering an image in the Lost in Translation Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s challenge is the topic of windows, with some selective colouring.

My choice of widows is a shot that I took for its minimalist qualities. It is a single storey commercial building with black ribbed metal siding, and a window that was quite literally punched into the facade. The monochrome effect was almost there already, with the exception of a small green vase in one corner of the window.

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window with green vase
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Collectors Anonymous

I was scanning other blogs a few days ago when I stumbled across a blogger who has admitted to collecting photos of temporary barricades for over 30 years. He then goes on to describe in detail their material, form and function, just like one might describe other aspects of our built environment.

Last month, I posted my first collection of doors, and I was surprised to discover how many other “door” enthusiasts there are out there. Maybe we are all collectors of “things,” as well as thoughts and ideas, and it is just a matter of what we keep to ourselves and what we are willing to share with others.

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Cee Neuner also runs a weekly Odd Ball Photo Challenge, which may provide an outlet for bloggers to share some of their “oddball” collections. My images in today’s post are provided in that vein, although I don’t confess to having collected any of these items on an ongoing basis. More by accident than by intention.

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Transitory collection of items deposited along a footpath
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Temporary barricades
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Firehose connection with a high degree of difficulty
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Simple fire hydrant
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Perspective

Stairs are my subject matter this week in my submission to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week. Stairs and staircases are full of diverging and converging lines when you are looking down on them.

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I took these photos recently in the TTC subway system in Toronto. I have a colour version of one image on my Flickr site as part of my “Entries and exits” album. These stair views also remind me a little of an MC Escher print, except that these are real stairs and not surreal.

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TTC Spadina Station – Walmer Rd. entrance
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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: Signs

I couldn’t help but post a few images in response to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. The opportunities certainly are limitless! A common theme in my selected images is falling or going downhill.

Driving a car in another country can be challenging. Especially when you are driving on the other side of the road, and on narrow roads, such as in the Lake District in NW England. When I first saw the traffic sign in my first image, I had no idea what to make of it. Watch out for low flying motorcycles overhead?

I still haven’t got it all figured out. There’s a hill ahead – got it. There is no red diagonal across the round sign, so it looks like it’s OK to do something, but what is it?

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Steep grade ahead

This second image is from Ireland. The message is quite clear – the earth is flat and if you get too close to the edge you will fall off.

I am sure that there is a good reason for placing this sign here. Ireland can be a very foggy place, so if you can’t see very far ahead when you are driving down this road, maybe you would be in danger of falling off the end of the jetty. It probably happened to someone – hence the warning sign.

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End of the road

My third image is taken from a walk along the coastal path in Cornwall. We have done a lot of walking on footpaths in England, but the message on this sign will certainly motivate you to keep on the straight (not usually) and narrow (most of the time).

I hope that you enjoy these photos – please feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

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Danger of death
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Glass

When you think about glass, what is the first word that comes to your mind? Something like “fragile” or “broken”, quite likely. Maybe second on your list is “cleaning” or “washing”.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge for this week – Glass – I have chosen architectural glass as my subject matter.

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Many new high rise condos have been built in Toronto recently, and they typically have glazed curtain walls, so there is lots of glass everywhere you look. The following is a photo of a lone window washer – there is no shortage of dirty windows for him to clean.

One of the features of this image that I like are the contorted reflections of the surrounding buildings. Who said that windows are perfectly flat?

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Window washer, Toronto, Ontario
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

Standing among the standing stones at Stonehenge was an awesome experience. It was a crisp spring morning – frost was still on the ground – and the rising sun shone brightly. People have been celebrating celestial events here for thousands of years, and I felt connected with the spirits of past generations.

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Standing among the standing stones

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